Chamber event offers practical education

When participants in last year's "Salads and Solutions" business forum in Sparks said they particularly liked the opportunity to hone their business skills,Tom Burrous was listening.

Burrous, who spearheads the Oct.

22 event for the Sparks Chamber of Commerce, said this year's event has been expanded by about four hours to allow for more educational sessions.

A sampling of the sessions:

* How to grow a business in Nevada, a session taught by representatives of the Nevada Small Business Development Center.

* Ways that businesspeople can use the Washoe County Law Library to get free legal information.

* Employee retention and ways to hire quality employees, sessions to be hosted by the Human Resources Consortium.

* How to cut through the red tape at Sparks City Hall.

* How to develop a marketing niche and brand for your business, a session taught by John Smith of Performance Coaching.

"You couldn't buy this information if you went to the university," Burrous said.

Participants will sign up for three sessions.

About 700 people are expected for the event, which runs from 7 a.m.

to 2:30 p.m.

at John Ascuaga's Nugget.

Burrous, whose brainchild created the first Salads and Solutions event four years ago, said attendance last year was about 500.

"It's growing every year," said Len Stevens, executive director of the chamber.

"The response has been fantastic."


Kenny Guinn and Sparks City Manager Shaun Carey will be the luncheon speakers.

Mayor Tony Armstrong will address the state of the city and Chris Cox, executive of the St.

Mary's Learning Center and a race car driver, will talk during the breakfast session about similarities between the fast tracks of business and automotive racing.

About 50 businesses and government agencies, meanwhile, will be operating trade fair booths during the event.

Registration, which is available through the chamber office is $60 a person for the forum (including lunch) or $25 for the Salads and Solutions Luncheon by itself.

The chamber can be reached by phone at 358-1976 or via e-mail at


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